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Let's get MAD - (Make a Difference)! (Manila)

Hi everyone. I know people are planning their long weekends and there may be an IN event on the 3rd... but in case you'd want a different kind of weekend, no frills, just helping people... this is activity is organized by a colleague of mine at work. Please let me know ASAP if you'd be interested to join as we also would want to ensure security for those interested to participate.

The cry to make every Filipino child’s dream come true in our own little ways is prevailing. We believe that change would not be impossible if together we will make it possible. Everyone has a power to touch someone’s lives and it doesn’t matter how big or how small it is, everyone can make a difference. You just need to believe, make a stand, start it now and shout: I am M.A.D.!

I am M.A.D. (Making A Difference) is a network of young volunteers with an advocacy to make a difference in the lives of the many, especially the Filipino children. One of its major actions is the “Batang Iskolar Program: I am M.A.D.” which is an outreach project that believes in the aphorism that every child can make a difference in their own yet meaningful ways. We conduct workshops and community activities that inculcate in them the true spirit of being an advocate of change.

The program basically aims to make a difference through: encouraging children finish their education despite of socio-economic problems faced by their families thru donations of school supplies and the like; inculcating culture of peace in the lives of these children and developing their leadership skills young as they are during the M.A.D. workshop which has several activities such as storytelling, team building activities, games and obstacle course ; promoting community activities initiated by the kids themselves; and advocating the “10 M.A.D. commitments” which they promise to practice everyday:

1. I will pray and thank God for a new day as I wake up.
2. I will smile and greet the people around me.
3. I will eat nutritious food every meal.
4. I will share my food those who doesn't have.
5. I will throw my garbage in the trashcan.
6. I will play with fairness and sportsmanship.
7. I will return any lost and found items to the authority.
8. I will study my lessons before going to bed.
9. I will hug my parents and tell them how much I love them.
10. I will start making a difference within myself today.

Since it started last December Protected content , the program has reached 13 areas in the Philippines which includes; Basilan, Zamboanga City, Isabela City, Zamboanga Del Sur, North Cotabato, Davao, Romblon, Batangas, Bulacan, La Union, Kidapawan City, Sarangani, Tuguegarao City involving almost Protected content .

The Batang Iskolars (child scholars) have initiated projects such as tree planting with the military in their community, coastal clean-up with the barangay leaders; have made cleaning materials for their school, and the like. Positive changes were noticed by the teachers and parents brought about by the project, the kids have become more participative in school activities and excels in class, and when they reach home, they were more responsible now and most especially they have been affectionate with their parents which was a total opposite before. Their respective communities have started to work hand in hand with the children and their families towards community progress. With this, the children are taking small steps in making a bigger difference in the world.

The authors of the project are Mark Conrad Ravanzo and Christian Marx Rivero. Both of them together with the Area Coordinators from the places identified are conducting the workshops, organizing the activities and who looks for sponsors to put up a successful M.A.D. activity.

The smiles and hopes of the children are priceless, and that’s the main reason why we continue to be M.A.D. in more places in the Philippines. We aim to inspire more youths to be an emblem of change and to influence more children to be M.A.D.!


Believe. There would no one else who must believe in thy self but yourself per se. When you believe, little by little everything will come into reality. We must be the believer of our own dreams and the dreamer of our own beliefs.
Make a stand. When you believe in something, you should stand firm and let it happen. Making a stand is never easy, but when you do it with dedication and you have friends behind you; everything will be smooth because there nothing is impossible if together we will make it possible.
Start it now. It always starts with a single step. All the things we want in life will never come true if we won’t start it now. Let us not wait for tomorrow if we can always do it now.
Shout: I am M.A.D. Celebrate and rejoice your advocacy and influence other people to make a difference. What you dreamed, believed and stood for will never be an inspiration if you will not share it to other people.


November 2, Protected content 5:00 am Call Time at Cubao Bus Terminal
5:30 to 8:00 am Travel from Manila to Tarlac
8: Protected content am Orientation about I am M.A.D.
9:00 – 3:00 pm M.A.D. workshop with the Batang Iskolars
3:00 – 4:00 pm Courtesy Call
4:00 – 5:00 pm Send off to Host Families
7:00 – 9:00 pm M.A.D. Night
November 3, Protected content 9:00 – 11:00 am Community Activity
1:00 – 5:00 pm Tarlac Experience
6:00 – 7:00 pm Youth Forum and I am M.A.D. Candle Lighting Rally
November 4, Protected content 8:00 – 10:00 am M.A.D. Circle
10:00 –12:00 nn Awarding of Batang Iskolars and Closing Program
1:00 pm Home Sweet Home

Transportation. The volunteer will shoulder his/her own travel expenses. One way fare going to Capas, Tarlac is P200.00.

Accommodation/ Host Family. Everyone will be having their local host families where they will reside in pairs. The selection of host families is in random thus no prioritization will be made, furthermore the pairing will be based on gender and the origin of their place. We request everyone to bring a token for their host families that will be given on the last day as a sign of gratitude.

Food. Breakfast and dinner will be served by the host families while we shall have our lunch in the school. This is a volunteer experience so we advice everyone to bring extra ammo for your personal necessities and other emergency situations.

Clothes. We will be moving around, playing with kids and doing physical activities, we recommend you to bring loose clothes and use comfortable rubber shoes. At night, please use pajamas and if possible, long sleeves shirt to avoid mosquito bites. Please bring a polo shirt with a Philippine map.

Health. Please advice us if you have any serious health problems so that we can excuse you from the activities that will not permit your condition. Please also bring medicines that you think you might need for emergency purposes. We will be away from home so we must be responsible for our own selves.

Manila Forum